Thursday, January 31, 2013

Winter Front Yard..........

...........I have been working hard this week all around the yard and took a lot of pictures but, will show the front area only in this post........

So come, walk around the front yard with me.  This flag actually says, welcome. Just as I took the picture the strong breeze took away the "wel".  I decided this week that the snowman flag looked a bit silly in our eighty degree weather and switched to this one.

This rose bush is in bloom almost all year round. I cannot say enough good things about little ducher - pronounced "do-shay".

Not a lot of color in the front except the snapdragons sure have been doing their part.

Also, potted coleus provide a nice patch of color.  But, do you see what I see across the street in my neighbor's yard?

A wild turkey!!! 

Two wild turkeys!!!  They live in the woods straight beyond where we see them here. I have been seeing or hearing them most every day lately.  I keep hoping I will find them in my yard and even put out some corn to lure them but, so far, the squirrels are dinning better than usual and, at least when I have been looking, no turkeys. There are usually eight when they come through. The other six had flown over the fence and to the shelter of the trees by the time I could get close enough to snap these.

But, back to the color in my yard.

Ornamental cabbage.

This is a new bowl of moss.  I am hoping it will spread to the edge and over the sides. I have tried some before and was not very successful keeping it looking good for very long.

A new plant I bought last week called tibouchina. This tropical is common here but gets cold damage easy so I have never tried one before.  It can get to be a fairly large bush if it doesn't freeze.

The North Carolina birdhouse looked good with the sun-play this morning.  It has lost it's finial and I need to replace it. 

I took time this week to clorox several things and this angel is one of them. He looked pitifully moldy before! It doesn't take long for things to get covered with mold here - inside and out.

This is probably a picture only it's owner would appreciate but I'm showing it anyway. I love what is here but it is more about where it came from and how it got here to my yard. The pot of euphorbia blooms constantly.

The rocks have meaning only because of where they came from. I have told you before but for the new viewers - five came to America from a little village in England. They traveled in my daughter's backpack. The big round one was from my other daughter and came from Indiana. Do you see the little well in the middle. It might have been used by an Indian.  I bought the grey one from a flea market in Pennsylvania, also said to be an Indian tool.

The bricks are here also because of their former homes. The moss covered one from the woods near my sister's house in Tennessee and the other one from a street in Sanford, Fl, close to where I live.  The big moss covered rock is from a friend's former property.
I have so many new yard pictures but will save the others for other posts. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Old Becomes New........and Enjoying a Harvest

Yesterday, I made a quick walk-through of a newly discovered antique store called Adjectives.  I asked how the store got that name. He said because of the different words they heard people use describing the store. Somehow, I think they could have found a better name. But, I could think of several adjectives to describe the store and they would all be positive!  It is near where I live and I will be swinging through there on a regular basis.

One thing they have in abundance is linens - of all kinds.Very, very nice linens. This happens to be one of my favorite things to collect and use.  Unfortunately most of what they have are out of my price range.  Yesterday, I did purchase the white small cloth you see here on my butcher block.

My guess is it is not very old. It is in perfect condition. And, has this design on each corner and fits perfectly on the butcher block table.

This lace design is all the way around the hang-down part.

The other thing I got was this white ironstone oval dish.  I like it for its size and shape. It is shallow and I thought it would be handy for many uses. The two onions are very large which makes the dish look smaller than it is.

It is a Homer Laughlin dish.  And, on second thought, even though it looks like ironstone it may not be. I am not sure what makes ironstone, ironstone. I do know that all the Homer Laughlin things I have seen are what I think of as kitchen dishes - not fine dining china. At any rate, it is a joy for me to find something old that becomes new to me.

You have been seeing two pitchers of fresh herbs sitting on the new cloth.  I have made a promise to myself to start bringing in a few cuttings of something, flowers or herbs, on a regular basis.  Whether I use the herbs or not I love to see them up close and  they make the kitchen smell so good. Besides herb plants do better if they are clipped on a regular basis.

In this pitcher is parsley, bay, cilantro, rosemary and pineapple sage.  I am able to have herbs growing outside here year round.

The little pitcher holds dill and thyme.  This picture was made before I put the new cloth on.

I harvested these collards and enjoyed them for dinner tonight. 

Because most of these tomatoes were already off of the vine or at least resting on the ground, I brought them in to finish ripening on the windowsill. I looked out the window and saw a bird pecking at them and knew I needed to bring them in if I hoped to eat any. The one plant is still full of green tomatoes - the most I have ever had on a bush.

So, tonight I chopped half of one of the big onions from my new bowl and cut out the spine of the collard leaves discarded them and cut the leaves chiffonade style. Roll each leaf in a cigar shape and cut thin slices. I sauted the onions in a little bacon drippings and added the collards, covered the pan and cooked them about twenty-five minutes. They were pretty tasty but still a little too tough. They probably needed several minutes more in the pan.

I cut one small tomato and heated some black beans and that was my supper.  Had I been a bit more ambitious I would have made some cornbread.  I just play around growing a few plants to eat. I don't have a big vegetable garden, so I get a lot of enjoyment when I can eat something I have grown.  This winter I have not had a killing frost or freeze and I am sooooooooooooo hoping we get by this year without one!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Stitches, Stitches, Stitches

Thought I would share some handiwork I have done in the last two weeks.                                                              

When this big wooden dough bowl was emptied of its Christmas things I came up with the idea of making some mini pillows to fill the bowl. I had been seeing cute little embroidered pillows on Pinterest.

I first made this line of button flowers and instead of keeping it small, I used some fabric I already had to add to it and made a larger pillow.  It will stay on the striped chair.


As you see here I finished seven little ones. I plan to make about three more. 

I find embroidery work relaxing if I can get a good pattern on the fabric that I can see.  That is the most difficult thing. There must be a better way!   

I also like to do things with felt. This little bird was so fast to finish.

I drew this simple Queen Anne's Lace on to the fabric. This one is the smallest and is filled with lavender and smells so good. All the others are stuffed with fiberfil.

Whimsical animals would not usually be a choice I would make but, I liked this giraffe. And, love the tiny button flowers.

If I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be this one.  I found the metal rabbit with moveable arms and legs among my collection of trinkets - perfect to put in charge of this line of button flowers.

So. this is partly what has kept me busy lately. Is your January off to a roaring start? Got any interesting projects going?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Up and Running With Pictures Again......

......As some of you know, I suddenly was unable to upload pictures to post on here.  After looking at "blogger chatter" about this problem, I decided to follow the suggestion to switch from Goggle to Goggle Chrome. Now, I will tell you I am so not confident to trek through the unknown of computer land!  I don't know the language or how to do much of anything and I was afraid I would be presented with a choice(es) somewhere in the process and not have a clue what to do. Afraid I would destroy what I had (regardless of it not working) and not be able to get back to where I had come from! Well, down loading Goggle Chrome turned out to be a one click adventure!  How to use it and move old Goggle out of the way was a bit harder.  But, with a little help here I am!   And, with more options to work with. As I click my way along, my posts may be a bit wonky but I hope to do better soon.

Have you ever looked at something for years and yet have not really seen it?  I am that way with some things. And, that is why this large framed print, which has been hanging in my sitting room for years, was chosen to start this post. I was surprised to realize that I have never featured it here. It has been a favorite of mine but, last week as I was rearranging the table that it hangs above, I stood and studied it for awhile.  Had I described it, without looking, before, I would have said I like the colors, which are few.  I love the Victorian clothes he is wearing, he is looking up and he is blowing bubbles. This day I noticed he seems to have a sad look on his face, It almost looks like he is in a dark, closed in area but there are clay pots at his feet, which I had never seen. What looks like a window in his background is a reflection of my t.v. Does anyone have any information about the painting - name?, painters name?

This is the little table that the picture hangs over. And, you might have seen it many times, but not with these things on it. You knew this is what you would get after Christmas, didn't you? The same spaces with slightly different looks?  I think I am in a rut with my "show and tell" on here.  And, need to work a little harder to present some different subjects. We will see as the year goes on.

Same open book, with a new opening,  moved from the desk shelf to here.  The large bird has also flown in from another location.

 I guess the saying would only be true if the book is garden themed? Which many of mine are.

This heavy, metal, bird candle holder is holding one big blackberry.  Way more interesting than a candle

Now, to show the desk shelves one more time.

Left top: I just now discovered, this is not the picture I meant to use. The box with the butterfly got straightened up and shows better. But I am treading too softly with the new system to change it now - this will be good enough.

Top right.

Middle left.

Middle right.
  The piece with the butterfly is a box standing on end.  This is a new purchase from Home Goods.

Bottom left.

Bottom right.
The little girl is still dragging her basket but has picked up some frosted winter fruit.

This shot shows the big bird which was hiding behind the potted plant in a picture you saw above.

I am so glad to be able to share once again. I hope you are going forth in this new year with faith, hope and high expectations for a very good year.